Yesterday I was telling a friend that I usually only compete or participate if I can win or dominate. (… she had a long serious pause …) “Ok, well that is a very brave observation and so if you want to evolve, how are you going change that?” Me being me; I really don’t like to step out of my comfortable cocoon and brave the unknown. Does anyone? I was talking to a friend recently who had just moved across the country. I asked her about going to restaurants and movies alone. “Oh, I don’t have a problem with that at all – never have. I like meeting new people”. A shot of true fear went through me – that would not be something I would be comfortable with. Is she fearless? No, there are things she isn’t comfortable doing. To some I would look courageous; I take risks and don’t mind getting up in front of groups and speaking, playing music, and doing weird things, but going to dinner by myself? No way.
If we as people, societies, and organizations want to evolve and grow to be “all that we can be”, then we must drive down the paths unknown. Last night, I spent some time with some people who were just starting down the path of health and were uncomfortable with working out in a gym. They felt judgment and that people were looking at them in a less than nice manner. I've been going to gyms for years and if anything the complete opposite is true. I have great admiration for newbies at gyms. “How awesome” is my usual internal reaction – but what I’m thinking doesn’t change the fact that they feel judged. Same with dining alone or going to a movie alone … the judgment is probably not there. Why do we make these stories up then?
I binge watch the TV show Hoarders. These folks with their houses so incredibly packed with stuff hold on to their “treasures” for some reason. Usually the reason has to do with some internal fear about letting go, or this is an area they can control in a life that they see as out of control. At the end of the show – these folks usually part with the stuff and move on, but not without a lot of emotion and tears. Could this be basically the same thing we do with our desires to stay with “what we know”? What if I did do X (go to dinner by myself)? What would happen? What if I did get up and talk to a group of strangers? Would I drop dead from fear? What if I did go to the gym, even though I’m not real comfortable with my body or my ability? Will someone come up and point at me and laugh?
Think about your fears this week and what would happen if we stepped outside our box of comfort and tried something new. Hmmm … what would happen?? Scary.
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO